Why Won’t Some Realtors Return Calls or Respond to Emails/Text Messages

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

Why Won’t Some Realtors Return Calls or Respond to Emails/Text Messages

Before I go any further, let me make it clear, not all agents are the same, in fact, most do answer calls/emails/text messages and go above and beyond for their buyer and seller clients.

However, there’s that small percentage who like to play games or perhaps allergic to any type of contact with others. So, why wouldn’t a REALTOR® answer his/her calls or respond to emails and text messages? I wish I knew the answer, I have a theory but I will keep that to myself since I have no evidence..just my thoughts.

Here’s what I’ve been experiencing since Friday, November 3, 2017. My buyer asked to see a Bank Owned listing. I thought it would be easy since it is an REO and vacant. Nope..I was wrong.
MLS showing instructions read “No showing instructions have been recorded”. Realtor remarks read “Call office for showings, combination lock box”. The listing agent is the Broker/Owner. I left a total of six messages between her office and the cell phone. Ohh..by the way, her cell phone is not listed in MLS, I had to do some investigation. Aside from all the voicemails, I emailed and texted her. Three days later..NO RESPONSE!

While looking for her information, I started reading some posts regarding REO agents not returning calls and I was blown away by some of the excuses other agents wrote. Here’s a few;

-REO listing agents are too overwhelmed to answer calls, go to their office directly to speak with them
-REO listing agents don’t make that much money so they try to get both sides and not interested in other offers
-REO listing agents try to get as many offers as they can to pick the best and highest
-They usually have their own buyers
-If you only knew how hard they work, you wouldn’t complain

Above are just a few I saw..I invite you to “Google” this topic and read some of the comments by other agents.

I really don’t care how busy you are as an agent, not responding to calls/emails/text messages for three days and not recording showing instructions in MLS is not acceptable.
Sad part is, Asset Managers, banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase are clueless. Do they even care? If investors only knew how their assets are being managed, they would not assign any REO listings to some of the agents who are “too busy” to answer calls.

I have a buyer who wants this home and yes, he wants to see it before making an offer. Especially on a listing by this Real Estate Company. So, writing an offer contingent on previewing it is not an option. I know because I suggested this to him and he declined.

If you are a buyer wondering why some agents don’t answer their calls, I’ve been wondering the same myself, still don’t have an answer.

Why Won’t Some Realtors Return Calls or Respond to Emails/Text Messages



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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Beth, when (not if, but WHEN, sadly) this happens, it is just the tip of the horribly icy iceberg!! Who wants to continue to do business with someone who from the very get-go acts as if you are the lowest priority on earth? Can you imagine how someone can start out this way and NOT be even worse as the transaction gets more complicated??


Nov 06, 2017 12:04 PM #7
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

How frustrating!!!!  There definitely should have been showing instructions available on day one - sounds fishy to me.

Nov 06, 2017 01:46 PM #8
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Beth not returning calls is rude.  No one is so busy that they cannot pick up a phone and call or text.  Those who operate this way will not be busy for long.

Nov 06, 2017 01:51 PM #9
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good afternoon Beth. As a manager, it drove me crazy when REO agents did not communicate in a timely manner. Enjoy your day!

Nov 06, 2017 02:32 PM #10
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

These agents are just rude and give the rest of us a bad name Beth Atalay  sorry this is happening to you it is so frustrating and makes us look back to our buyers

Nov 06, 2017 04:15 PM #11
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

During the years that repos and short sales were rampant here in Sacramento, getting agent response was sometimes exhausting.  I remember not being able to get one agent on the phone, so I actually drove to her office, sat in the reception area for her several minutes, only to have an assistant walk out to tell me the agent wouldn't be able to meet with me.  We tend to remember agents that operate like that, and when the market turns we try really hard to no get into transactions with them.

Nov 06, 2017 04:44 PM #12
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Beth, this is a disease that is easily spread among REO agents. We have the same issues up north. It's frustrating.

Nov 06, 2017 04:58 PM #13
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Beth Atalay ,

It always amazes me but when you look at the statistics 7 out of 10 Realtors drop out after getting their real estate license and its because they had no idea of the work it involves!

Nov 06, 2017 04:59 PM #14
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Ashburn, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Beth, there is absolutely no excuse for this. Unreal. I have my thoughts too on why this happens and something tells me we think the same thing. 

Nov 06, 2017 06:24 PM #15
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

I don't know why Beth Atalay but I do know that it is frustrating!

Nov 06, 2017 07:24 PM #16
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Beth Atalay - It is as if banks don't really want to see their properties sold. I have a similar situation going on. I can't get in to see a bank owned property my client wants to see. It is frustrating. 

Nov 06, 2017 07:35 PM #17
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Without a doubt, Beth... this is a question for the ages. It always makes me a bit sad about our profession when I pick up my phone and the call tells me they are surprised they are actually speaking with me.

Nov 07, 2017 04:31 AM #18
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Since REO agents can double side the deal and do not make much on the listing side...they often do everything they can to try and show (and sell) the property themselves...including ignoring other agents

Nov 07, 2017 07:59 AM #19
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Beth,  I wish I knew why some Realtors just do not take their work more serious.  We should all be professional all the time.

Nov 07, 2017 08:07 AM #20
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

This is certainly a daily frustration and how clients tolerate it is unbeknownst to me, but I never thought to Google it!  And if I hear one more agent tell me how "busy" they are, I'm going to throttle them.  We are ALL busy!

Nov 07, 2017 01:16 PM #21
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Oh this question hits a nerve with me, and my comment would be full of vulgarities what I think of this type of listing agent... and when I run into one of these typse I want to revert back to my Airborne Ranger days of handling them....Endre

Nov 08, 2017 11:10 PM #22
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Beth, it is crazy you haven't gotten a response. It is certainly frustrating.

Dec 06, 2017 04:54 AM #23
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Unfortunately, agents not returning calls are not serving their clients.  Imagine how shocked a seller would be to know their agent wasn't responding to a phone call that may be "the one" to get their house sold.

Dec 06, 2017 06:30 AM #24
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I swear, my last words will be "You gotta be freakin' KIDDING me!"
I am happy to say we do not have brokers like that in my area. We had one reigning REO queen who was like getting an audience with the Pope, but she is gone now. I work with one bank on REOs and I have NEVER, ever double-ended a deal in 4 years. I have, however, directed buyers to hire their own agent. Everything is on LB and ready to show. If you need me, call or better, text me and you will get an IMMEDIATE response. My favorite REO broker here who works on hundreds of properties annually with multiple banks is the same way.  
NOW, having said that . . . we get INSISTENT 'you MUST CALL ME BACK' calls from agents who won't accept a text with info - they want to WHINE, cry, ask questions that are need-to-know,  their broker should answer or they should know and monopolize our time needlessly. Those agents are just as bad . . . 
This is not a sales business. This is a COMMUNICATIONS business. If you suck at communicating, this is not for you! 
I feel ya pain!

Dec 06, 2017 08:38 AM #25

I'm a Realtor in NC and I find that some agents are extremely unresponsive not just REO. I think the longest I've gone without responding to a client or other agent was 30-45 minutes. Not getting return calls for hours or days is unacceptable. I currently have an offer in on a property....nothing. Not even a confirmation that it was received. They need to find another line of work if they can't manage something so simple.

May 19, 2019 11:42 AM #26
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Beth Atalay

Cam Realty of Clermont FL
Sell or Buy Homes in Clermont FL
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